The Realest Dream: USA Select Returnees Eager for NTDP Reboot


Cydney Lisk (top left) and Shea Dolce (middle, No. 42) are eager for the NTDP reboot.

This story appears in the April edition of US Lacrosse Magazine. Don't get the mag? Join or renew today. Thanks for your support!

Cydney Lisk says there’s nothing like playing lacrosse at Tierney Field. She should know. She has played there more than anyone else lately — and she’s already punched her ticket to return this summer.

Lisk, a member of the 2019 USA Select U15 team, has accepted an invitation to compete in the National Team Development Program’s national combine in August. US Lacrosse suspended the program in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has rebooted it in a big way for 2021. Lisk wants to be a part of that.

“It’s one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever been a part of — representing your country and being able to meet different people from different states and build relationships,” said Lisk, a junior defender for Glenelg Country School in Maryland who committed in September to play college lacrosse at Loyola. “I was able to meet so many different coaches who played for the U.S. in the past or are playing there now. It broadened my horizon for the game of lacrosse.”

US Lacrosse has teamed up with five event operators — Adrenaline, NXT, PrimeTime, Summit Lacrosse Ventures and Trilogy Lacrosse — to host NTDP regional tryouts in conjunction with summer tournaments. From there, the top 150 boys and 150 girls will be invited to the NTDP National Combine at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md. Age-eligible players from the 2019 USA Select teams receive automatic invitations to the combine.

Lisk, who most recently played at US Lacrosse as part of the Nation United Summit and Playday in September, responded yes immediately. She knows she will have to earn her way onto the U18 squad, however.

“It was the most challenging, most gritty experience during those four days,” she said, remembering the 2019 combine. “I couldn’t walk. But that made me completely happy.”

Lisk credited her USA Select experience for giving her the confidence that she could play at an elite level. She was only a high school freshman when she tried out. But the further she advanced, the better she got. She said 2019 USA Select U15 coach Molly Ford taught her how to anticipate plays ahead of time and that U.S. senior team star Taylor Cummings delivered a hard-work-pays-off speech that still resonates with her two years later. “I think about that all the time,” she said. “It will happen for me. I’ve seen the progress with committing to a Division I school.”

Lisk said she’s looking forward to reconnecting with some of her USA Select teammates in Sparks. She described a scene from the 2019 Fall Classic weekend that today seems so un-pandemic — the entire team huddled together in a hotel room watching basketball and bonding. She still texts regularly with Shea Dolce (Darien, Conn.), Kori Edmonson (Severn, Md.) and Chloe Humphrey (Darien, Conn.), among others. She’ll reunite with fellow defender Emily Scorcia (Bay Shore, N.Y.) when they are classmates at Loyola.

Dolce, a goalie committed to Boston College, said getting evaluated by U.S. senior team goalie Gussie Johns was the highlight of her U15 experience. She also has accepted the invitation to compete in this summer’s U18 combine.

“I see my dream as to play for the USA team,” said Dolce, who is originally from Chicago. “It’s not that we’re being coached by random people. We’re being coached by them. I got to train with Gussie Johns. She is an idol.”

Regional tryouts run from May 28-July 9. The curriculum is fast-paced, focusing on position-specific and team skills in 1v1, 2v2, transition and 6v6 settings. Evaluators rate prospects for athleticism, stickwork, positional skill, game IQ, decision making and on-field presence.

“This year, we’re going to where the athletes are, and look forward to reaching as many USA hopefuls as possible this summer,” said Natalie Wills, senior manager of the National Team Development Program.

After the NTDP Combine in August, 22 players each will be named to the USA Select U16 and U18 teams that will participate in the Fall Classic in October.

For NTDP tryout dates and locations, head here.

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